Dec 16, 2011

The Throne Is Safe: Jay-Z & Kanye West in San Jose

12:36 PM

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When I decide I want to see a movie, I avoid all trailers, reviews and interviews with the stars so that I enter the movie as ignorant as possible. Same goes for concerts – I haven't looked at a YouTube concert footage or setlist for the Watch the Throne Tour since I bought my tickets for the December 14 San Jose stop a few months ago.

So imagine my surprise when the spotlight comes on and Kanye West is wearing a leather kilt.

I won't go as far as to say he pulled the look off, but Yeezy and Jay-Z's phenomenal aptitude for rapping overshadowed any odd fashion choices. (Jay was in his standard all-black-everything streetwear, if you're curious.) It also overshadowed the moving stages, sporadic fireballs and Tron-esque laser lighting.

Have you performed "Gold Digger" on Def Jam Rap Star? Or tested your "Big Pimpin'" flow at a karaoke bar? If so, you know that rapping like these two guys is not easy for even a short amount of time. And yet these guys came out and performed for over two hours with no backup. They didn't even lend a hand to each other, and both pulled off the entire performance without so much as a wheeze or gasp.

The only negative of the performance was the lack of collaborators. Songs like "All of the Lights" and "No Church in the Wild" had recorded versions of Rhianna and Frank Ocean, respectively, on the hook. You obviously can't bring Rhianna on the road just to sing a few hooks (and you know Beyonce is not having that), but bringing somebody along to handle these moments would have been nice.

Best moment: Jay-Z performing "Public Service Announcement" and "U Don't Know" – two Just Blaze-produced album cuts – back to back.

Who Gon Stop Me
Welcome to the Jungle
Gotta Have It
Where I'm From
Nigga What, Nigga Who
Can't Tell Me Nothing
Flashing Lights
Jesus Walks
All Falls Down
Diamonds from Sierra Leone
Public Service Announcement
U Don't Know
Run This Town
Made in America
New Day
Hard Knock Life
Empire State of Mind
On to the Next One
Brush Your Shoulders
I Just Wanna Love U
That's My Bitch
Good Life
Touch the Sky
All of the Lights
Big Pimpin'
Gold Digger
99 Problems
No Church in the Wild
Niggas in Paris x3

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